Our week started on legislative day 25 with a heartbreaking defeat. After multiple protests and hours of debate on the floor, HB 531, the omnibus voter suppression bill, passed the House. It now moves to the Senate for consideration. This week felt hectic with three very full days of voting and two busy committee days. Why the sudden fast pace? Well, Monday is Day 28 of the legislature, otherwise known as Crossover Day. It’s the last day for a bill to be heard in one chamber before crossing over to the other. I expect us to be doing the people’s business right up until midnight on Monday.
My Voting Record
HB 94 makes porch package theft a felony, regardless of the value of the item inside. This means that porch pirates could receive up to five years in jail for stealing the dog food that gets delivered to my front door.
This bill passed the House with my NO vote.
HB 593, the Tax Relief Act of 2021, provides a modest but much-needed tax break for working families.
This bill passed the House with my YES vote.
HB 32 provides an income tax credit for teachers who teach in certain rural or low-performing schools. This is an effort to recruit and retain qualified teachers to schools who need them.
The bill passed the House with my YES vote.
HB 369 removes critical barriers for Advanced Practice Registered Nurses and Physician’s Assistants, allowing them to write prescriptions for Schedule II medications in emergency situations.
The bill passed the House with my YES vote.
Bills to Watch
HB 479, which repeals citizen’s arrest from state law, passed out of the House Judiciary committee. It moves onto the Rules committee, and will hopefully reach the House floor before the end of Crossover Day on Monday.
SB 266, the Save Girls Sports Act, passed out of committee and is headed towards the full Senate for a vote. This transphobic bill bans “biological boys” from playing in sports with “biological girls.”
House Committee on Higher Education
This week, the House Committee on Higher Education passed two notable bills out of committee with my yes vote. HB 7, the Higher Education Access and Success for Homeless and Foster Youth Act, provides in-state tuition for students who are from foster care or homeless situations. It can be difficult for these students to establish residency if they are moving around, sometimes out of state. HB 120, the Georgia Resident In-State Tuition Act, provides in-state tuition for Dreamers. We often lose some of our best and brightest students to out of state colleges because they are not eligible for in-state tuition.
These bills will now move to the Rules committee. With any luck, we’ll be able to vote on them before the end of Crossover Day on Monday.
COVID-19 Vaccination Update
We are still vaccinating Phase 1A only:
- Healthcare workers (physicians, nurses, laboratory technicians, EMS personnel, environmental services, etc.)
- Residents and staff of long-term care facilities
- Adults aged 65+ and their caregivers
- Law enforcement, firefighters, first responders
Beginning March 8, 2021 (this Monday!), the following groups will also be eligible for COVID vaccine:
- Educators and staff (Pre-K, K-12, DECAL licensed or exempt childcare programs)
- Adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their caregivers
- Parents of children with complex medical conditions
If you are eligible for either group, you may pre-register here. You may also register on the site to receive email updates and to learn when you will be eligible.
The White House announced Friday that it’s partnering with state officials to open a new community vaccination center at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The center is expected to be up and running in the next two weeks. Considering that Georgia ranks last among states in terms of vaccine distribution, this is much needed help.
Join me this Sunday, March 7th at 4 pm for another Listening Session! Crossover Day is Monday, so there will be lots to talk about!
I will be holding Listening Sessions most Sundays at 4 pm over Zoom until the end of the Legislative Session. The next sessions are scheduled for March 14th, March 21st, and March 28th.
Registering once will automatically register you for every Zoom, but feel free to only attend the ones you want!
If you haven’t already, please browse my website, betsyforgeorgia.com.
As your Representative, your concerns are important to me. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 404-656-0116 with questions, concerns, or solutions you may have regarding legislation or other happenings in District 54.
To stay updated, follow me on Twitter and Facebook, and follow the Georgia House of Representatives @GAHouseHub on Twitter. Additionally, in-depth information regarding current bills, Georgia’s annual and supplemental budgets, committee meetings, and livestreams from the General Assembly can be accessed via www.legis.ga.gov.
When this is all over, I encourage you and your family to visit our State Capitol and my office, where all constituents are welcome. I look forward to connecting with you!
My office is located at:
18 Capitol Square, SW
409-B, Coverdell Legislative Office Building
Atlanta, Georgia 30334
Thank you for allowing me to serve as your representative.
Representative Betsy Holland
GA House District 54